The Dark Truth Behind Healthy Food
By Nina Syahira
April 10, 2014
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If cooking is a skill you’re currently lacking in, it’s time you get in that kitchen and learn a thing or two about it. Having regular home cooked meals is a great way to ensure the best food to eat. Many public eating places would sacrifice certain essential nutrients in their dishes due to availability and cost. Even manufacturers would replace certain ingredients for the same reasons. But what's worse is that some of these products get mislabelled for being healthier than they actually are and some consumers would unknowingly buy them.
So we take a look at some of these so-called healthy foods and discover the real truth behind them! Some of your favourite pre- and post workout meals might be in our list.
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As one of the most popular comfort foods, a nice bowl of hot soup is something you would turn to when deciding to eat light or crave for when you're feeling unwell. Depending on the type of soup you order, you might end up with too much cream, corn starch and/or salt in it. While those ingredients would either make it thicker and tastier, they would also drown the healthy goodness like vegetables in it. Instead, make your own delicious soup at home. Substituting cream with tomato as a thickener is a better alternative.
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The fact that the yolk contains cholesterol and the most fat in the entire egg has scared off many from consuming it at all. Containing most of the essential protein, the so-called healthier egg whites is actually absorbed like a sugar. Due to this, it can raise your blood sugar levels too. So be sure to consume the whole egg to get the B vitamins from the yolk as well.
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There are many different types of salads available today and some places even offer pre-made ones for those looking for a fast and convenient lunch during a busy day at work. However, these would usually contain an overwhelming amount of unhealthy stuff like cheese, heavy cream-based dressings and even fried chicken. A healthier option is to ask for the dressing on the side instead of pouring unnecessary extra amount onto your salad. Or better yet, make your own at home.
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Despite what the label says, not all fruit juices sold in shops actually contain 100% fruit juice. Sometimes there is an overload of sugar in them, making you consume more calories than you think. Eat whole fruits instead just to be on the safer side.
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Just because the word "wheat" is there, it doesn't mean they fully use wheat flour. To avoid a mistake, make sure each bread slice contains at least 2 grams of fibre.
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Red wine contains alcohol that helps to boost levels of "good" cholesterol therefore lowering the risk of developing blood clots. It is effective in preventing strokes and heart attacks this way. But while red wine is considered to be good for the development of the brain, it still needs to be consumed in moderation.
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When you've got oats, nuts and dried fruits in one, nothing can go wrong, right? In this case, it can. Granola actually contain a lot of sugar and one bowl of it can have more than 500 calories even without milk. But if you still like to eat them, go for the high-fibre kinds that are less sugary.
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This popular snack may contain unsalted nuts and unsweetened dried fruits but there are those mixes that contain chocolate chips and too much salt and added sugars. Try the plain varieties more often for better health.
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Flavoured fat-free yogurt and soymilk
Chances are if it's flavoured, the yogurt and soymilk you choose may contain more sugars and much unneeded calories. For everyday consumption, it would be wiser to get the plain ones. As for the yogurt, buy a plain fat-free Greek yogurt and if you need more pizzazz in it, eat it with a fruit or a light drizzle of honey.
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Veggie pizza and spinach pasta
These top two Italian favourites are no stranger to our local taste and the vegetarian pizza can taste just as good as an ordinary meat one. However, due to the lack of meat, some places tend to add more cheese or soak dried tomatoes and olives in oil. For a healthier option, order the thin crust with half the cheese.
As for the spinach pasta, be aware that the actual amount of the dark leafy vegetable is too small to benefit you in any way despite its colour. Switch to whole wheat pasta instead and get a side salad of spinach.
All in all, here's a life-saving tip you need to remember: always check the ingredients list on the packaging. Knowing how much of what is in the food you choose is important and in this way, you can easily learn to control what you eat too. Therefore, cooking it yourself is only the next natural step to having a better diet so be informed!
Take up a cooking class here and start making your own healthy dishes at home!